TEN has denied a string of its profile shows are “under review” following an article in the Sunday Telegraph.
The report claimed Australian Survivor, I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, Pointless and either The Bachelor or The Bachelorette were all under review with CBS scrutinising TEN performance.
The article suggested honeymoon with CBS was over amid a declining market share, tipping I’m A Celebrity would trim from 6 to 4 weeks and that TEN would greenlight Dancing with the Stars, a local version of UK factual Ambulance and a local version of Saturday Night Take-Away.
But TEN has hit back issuing a statement which rejects nearly all the claims.
Chief Content Officer, Beverley McGarvey, said: “The claims made in The Sunday Telegraph today are ill-informed, misleading and completely wrong. We were not asked to comment on these claims before they were published. If we had been, we would have furnished the reporter with the truth.
“The facts are clear. Network TEN’s audience has increased strongly over the past three months, thanks to the success of MasterChef Australia, Have You Been Paying Attention?, Shark Tank, Australian Survivor and other shows. Last week, TEN had the #1 show of the week in total people with MasterChef Australia The Winner Announced and four of the top six programs of the week in our key target market of people 25 to 54.
“To claim Australian Survivor, The Bachelor Australia, The Bachelorette Australia, I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! and Pointless are under review is total nonsense.
“We are very pleased with the performance of the new season of Australian Survivor. After two nights, it is up 6% in total people year on year and it ranks #1 in its timeslot in total people and 25 to 54s.
“The new season of The Bachelor Australia, with Nick ‘Honey Badger’ Cummins, starts on 15 August and it is set to be a fantastic season. The new season of The Bachelorette Australia with Ali Oetjen will follow later this year. The claim that we think the shows are too similar and that there is only room for one is naïve and false.
“I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! performed very well for TEN in early 2018 in our core target market and it will be back in 2019, while Pointless is generating good growth for us among younger viewers.
“Overall, TEN is performing well and we are looking forward to launching the new seasons of all the shows that are allegedly ‘under review’. To suggest otherwise is just plain wrong.”
CBS also issued a statement: “CBS has and continues to support Beverley, the TEN management team and the Network’s programming strategy. The second half of 2018 will see the most comprehensive investment in Australian content in the history of the network, and they will soon be announcing a significant investment in summer and first quarter 2019. The story in the Sunday Telegraph is simply not accurate.”